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“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” – African Proverb

As we commence in the New Year, this is a particularly relevant quote. We do not get better when things are easy. It is the challenges we face, the hardships, the difficulties, the unexpected problems that truly contribute to our development. Without challenges, we stagnate and become complacent. We enjoy the lull as long as it lasts, only to be disrupted by yet another problem we did not foresee.

Embrace problems. Embrace challenges. Embrace difficulty. They are all part of the grand scheme of things and truly make life worth living. Without problems, challenges or difficulties life would be boring right? Without problems, challenges or difficulties the victories we achieve would be empty.

Writing, drawing, music are all creative endeavors. They all require practice, patience, and a methodical means of putting them together. The book begins with one sentence, the drawing with one stroke of a pen or pencil, the music with one note. The sentences, strokes, and notes come together in a unique voice only known by the creator.

Creation is difficult work. It requires patience, contemplation, and an innate ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Patience is probably the most important aspect of creation because you can’t rush creativity. Creativity visits us and gives us yet one more idea to put in place, the final result being the novel, poem, or tune.

As each of you pursues your goals this year, take time to realize that your path to a goal’s achievement will not be a straight one. It will require you to detour around obstacles, learn new things about yourself, and deal with the challenges inherent in the goal you have set for yourself.

If you’re looking to lose weight, you’ll deal with the pain of hunger, sore muscles, and temptation after temptation. If you’re looking to write a book, you’ll deal with writer’s block, the challenge of self-editing and rewriting tasks, and the self-doubt that arises whenever we create anything for others to read or listen to. Whatever goal you have set for yourself, there will be a price to pay for the goal’s achievement. We must pay for what we receive. There are no shortcuts.

As you embark on your New Year, keep these things close to your heart. Goals are achieved by those who are persistent, consistent, and willing to pay the price for the goals they have set for themselves. Goals are achieved by those who are willing to face challenges and overcome them. Goals are achieved by remaining focused on their achievement despite the numerous distractions that raise their heads.

I wish each of you a terrific New Year and hope the seas you travel this year to attain your goals are as rough as they need to be to help you make a permanent and beneficial change in your life.

Until next time…